The Rolling Stones

BitchSticky Fingers
Dancing With Mr. D.Goats Head Soup
Live With MeLet It Bleed
Monkey ManLet it Bleed
Parachute WomanBeggars Banquet
Shake Your HipsExile On Main Street
She's A RainbowTheir Satanic Majesties Request
Sister MorphineSticky Fingers
Stray Cat BluesBeggars Banquet
Ventilator BluesExile On Main Street


Stones playlist



Contributor: Dennis Le Baigue

This individual selection is chosen from the period when the Stones were arguably THE premier rock band on planet Earth. These tracks are mainstream and not hard to find but could possibly be overlooked, sitting in exalted company as they do alongside seminal classics such as Sympathy For The Devil, Gimme Shelter, Brown Sugar, Tumbling Dice, Street Fighting Man. Covering just a six year period from ’67 where, following The Beatles lead, they briefly flirted with psychedelia but gave it The Stones dark twist. These six mighty rock albums – one a double – confirms their brilliant talent, the like of which is all too rare and may never be equalled.


The Rolling Stones official website

The Rolling Stones biography (Apple Music)

Sir Mick Jagger has made 4 solo albums since 1985, Keef a couple, and Ronnie Wood quite a few more. So the call here is for solo devotees to dig deep and tell us what we’ve been missing.

TopperPost #12


  1. Peter Viney
    Jul 10, 2013

    I agree that this is the classic period, though I think “Exile on Main Street” is critically over-rated … great riffs, not enough tunes (it was Mick Jagger who said that somewhere). The one song I’d include from this era is “Memo From Turner” by Mick Jagger, which now appears on The Rolling Stones Singles Collection among others. This has Ry Cooder on guitar, and Ry Cooder has said he thought he might be joining, and that they taped two hours of him playing guitar, and the riffs he played then are the uncredited basis for half of Exile. My personal Top Ten might have four from Let It Bleed … Gimmee Shelter, Country Honk, Can’t Always Get What You Want, plus as here, Live with Me. I think there is post-Exile stuff of value … Beast of Burden would make my Top Ten too. As for the solo stuff, bought it, listened twice, and it’s all gathering dust.

    • Dennis
      Jul 10, 2013

      Fair points, Let It Bleed could have had more representation but Exile is a crucial part of the RS story and is blues-funky, yes different but contains the core RS ingredient …fxcking rocks.

  2. Merric Davidson
    Jul 10, 2013

    Can’t have “Memo From Turner” – much as we’d all like to – unless you topper up a Mick Jagger poppermost. Dig Deep. Maybe a Top 4? Ed.

  3. Peter Viney
    Jul 10, 2013

    I like the idea of the songs from the classic era, but more than most bands, if you had to demonstrate why the Stones were great to a complete newcomer, you would choose virtually all singles, or I would. Satisfaction, Honky Tonk Women, It’s All Over Now, Jumping Jack Flash, Brown Sugar, with maybe the odd B side, like Play With Fire. Anyway the list, as all good lists should do, had me listening to the Stones today.

  4. Rob Millis
    Sep 8, 2013

    Dennis – I won’t argue with the list at all. It has Live With Me on it, and that is good enough for me. There’s the whole of the Stones style, swagger, sense of creating something new, but with enough Chuck Berry in it to make sense. Fantastic song.
    Ooh, Peter, I don’t know about singles only! Not the Stones. There’s too many great songs out there on those albums. I’m with Peter that Exile is over-cooked, reputation wise (I’d have Keith’s Happy myself) and I’ll no doubt have people shaking their heads when I say that I find I never play Sticky Fingers much either. I like Beggars Banquet, and both Dear Doctor and the first side closer Jigsaw Puzzle would be in my 10; You’ve got Stray Cat and Parachute Woman already. That leaves a few more. Definitely would have That’s How Strong My Love is from Out Of Our Heads and definitely a bona-fide selection that represents Nanker-Phelge! For post 1972, I feel nostalgia would win, and it would be Start Me Up, as I remember back to being 6 years old and Dad, having bought me my first tape recorder and a pack of “EMITAPE” cassettes, showing me how to record the charts on Saturday afternoon, and pause the device if I didn’t like the song. I loved Start Me Up, and remember the old man saying “Oh, that’s the Rolling Stones, they used to do Richmond Jazz Club” (Dad’s a Kingston man; it was up the road). I was aware then that they’d been going awhile and they were something Dad enjoyed as a young man. That’s when you are aware of time whizzing along: when you have been listening to an established band for nearly twice as long as your own father had when he introduced them to you. But there: we are talking about a band that had their first three albums out less than twenty years after the end of World War Two…

    • Peter Viney
      Sep 8, 2013

      The Rolling Stones are part of that Elvis v Cliff, John v Paul, Beatles v Stones test that you applied to new acquaintances of the opposite sex in the 60s. The preferable answer in 1964-1965 would be Elvis, John, Stones. Mind you, I’m not so sure a couple of years later when The Beatles were in a different league to “Satanic Majesties”. So to me, the whole of “The Rolling Stones” first album is essential, Come On is the best Chuck Berry cover, Little Red Rooster shows Jagger is one of the few credible white blues singers (and also the only Englishman who can say “y’all” on stage and get away with it) and I still think that a list of ten is like a Stones concert: you can’t envisage it without Satisfaction. OK, we pussyfooted around it. Now I will bite the bullet and do ten, but at speed. No time to think. No agonizing. Unless it leaps out, it’s not there. I agree with Rob on Start Me Up (but if I could only have one of Start Me Up or Beast Of Burden, Beast Of Burden wins). And I won’t allow myself more than one an album, just to avoid more or less typing out the “Let It Bleed” tracklist in full. Play With Fire beats the A-side The Last Time hands down … in retrospect The Last Time / Have You seen Your Mother / 19th Nervous Breakdown / Let’s Spend The Night Together and even Jumping Jack Flash were too much of a similar thing. So Ruby Tuesday is another B-side I prefer to the A side. And even though Brown Sugar is irreplaceable, the B-side was Wild Horses, another contender. It is mainly stuff that was on 45 rpm discs. Out Of Time, issued as an afterthought/outtake would have got in on song quality, but the Chris Farlowe version is too ingrained: Beast Of Burden, Brown Sugar, Honky Tonk Women, It’s All Over Now, Live With Me, Play With Fire, Ruby Tuesday, Satisfaction, Start Me Up, Sympathy For The Devil

  5. Peter Viney
    Dec 15, 2013

    Just look at the track list for “Sweet Summer Sun” released this year with the Hyde Park Concert. It reinforces the view that the best stuff dries up after “Exile on Main Street” but listening to it, the song Emotional Rescue leapt out as a later one of merit. I’d like it as eleventh.

  6. Rob Millis
    Dec 15, 2013

    Going back to my childhood budding pop-picker story, I do recall that Bill Wyman’s “Je Suis Un Rock Star” was in the charts on the same broadcast. Dad was far less proud when he explained who that was. A La South of France, Voulez-vous.

  7. Colin Duncan
    Dec 22, 2013

    It’s a thoughtful list, but from this classic era, I would have Brown Sugar, Sweet Virginia, Tumbling Dice and Country Honk. I would want Have You Seen your Mother Baby or Out of Time from the early era. I play Tattoo You regularly, but Start Me Up would lose out to Waiting on a Friend. A very difficult task to pick only ten. Perhaps three lists are needed to reflect different line ups? Love the Stones. Saw them twice – great value.

  8. Keith Shackleton
    Dec 22, 2013

    Pretty surprised there’s only a smattering of Some Girls in the comments, which is their last truly great record, for me.

  9. Peter Viney
    Dec 22, 2013

    I had Beast of burden from Some Girls, and Faraway Eyes only just missed my ten. Add Miss You, and a ‘Respectable’ cover of Just My Imagination, and yes, Some Girls is a great album.

  10. Colin Duncan
    Dec 23, 2013

    Can’t disagree with the previous two comments. Great tracks on Some Girls. Years ago, I tried to analyse why Faraway Eyes was a great track after Billy Connolly was on a radio programme, praising the song. I really enjoy the intelligent lyrics and the parody. Maybe it’s a song that works on more than one level.

  11. David Lewis
    Dec 29, 2013

    Another great selection from an impossible group to narrow down. I’m a big fan of Tumblin’ Dice and Sweet Virginia, so I’d have to put them in, probably at the expense of Bitch and Ruby Tuesday. But I can be convinced otherwise…

  12. Dave Stephens
    Feb 14, 2018

    Thought I’d make a belated and slightly tongue in cheek addition to the Stones’ tens. My starting premise was to exclude anything that had previously been mentioned. I may have not spotted the odd one but in general I believe I kept to that rule. And, yes in real life, my ten would include some that have been covered already but I’d include some from below as well. Here goes: Paint it black, Who’s driving your plane, Lady Jane, Under my thumb, Mother’s little helper, Backstreet girl, No expectations, Factory girl, Let it bleed, Dead flowers.
    When did they stop writing great songs like Factory Girl? And would Let It Bleed have made it without Ry Cooder? Maybe there should be a top 50 for the Stones.

    • Harvey
      Jun 16, 2022

      Nice list… But one might argue that what makes the Stones perhaps the greatest RnR band of all time is their versatility. By limiting the list to the amazing six year run of classic albums, you omit much of their experimentation with other genres. Could the same guys who wrote “Miss you” have written “faraway eyes”? Yep. And that is why I love them. Thus, while I love ALL of the above, my list includes some flirtations with soul and RnB and gospel: Sympathy for the Devil, it’s only Rock n Roll, gimme shelter, you can’t always get what you want, hot stuff, lies, can’t you hear me knockin’, miss you, tops, let it loose
      Oh, I could just keep adding on to this but I will play by the rules.

  13. David Lewis
    Aug 25, 2021

    RIP Charlie.

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